Another kebab

The road to Lake Van was long and arduous. We met a Dutch cyclist on our way. He was cycling around the world. It had taken him 8 weeks across Turkey.

Lake Van was enormous and beautiful. It had giant storm clouds above it.

Van was, however, a total smeg-pit.

We were disappointed- the guidebook had tricked us again. We rode back down to the shore to find a place to camp. There were no campsites, only picnic-parks- a unique Turkish and Iranian phenomenon which consists of a park with dusty-looking trees, some picnic tables and bins, and a shack to rent barbecues from.

We rocked up to one of them, where a weaselly-looking man with a lazy eye that made him look villainous tried to charge us the same price as a hotel to stay.

We found another one, and an old drunk man held up his hands at us. We pitched the tent in the rain while a young, retarded boy watched us.

A serious guy appeared and brought us to the picnic area for chai. He was brilliant, and fed us chai after chai, and talked about his family.

The old drunk guy was his dad.

The young kid wasn’t retarded, but 19 and secretly drunk on Raki.

When the dad wandered off, our man went to buy more Raki for us without telling us, and we all got a bit drunk. He lit an enormous fire, and tried to get us to agree to food. We hoped very much he had listened when we said ‘No thanks.’

There were giant slabs of meat which the young kid speared onto kebab sticks and cooked over the fire. We were still hoping they weren’t for us, when he offered us them again. We felt really bad, and spent a long time explaining we didn’t eat meat, and yes it looked very nice and smelt amazing, but we couldn’t eat it. He said hopefully ‘But it has hooves?’

Adam was made to promise to go swimming in the lake in the morning and we had to hide our Raki glasses from the dad, who was so drunk he later started shouting. Everyone agreed to go on a tour.

They woke us for chai and breakfast in the morning.  We sat with them in a wooden shack in the middle of the park, with a trowel instead of a bolt on the door, and one big bed in the corner. The boys talked football.

The serious family man tried to drive his dad to their house to get dry clothes. They came back in and there was some confusing commotion. Eventually we worked out they had run out of petrol. Petrol was the one thing we did have, so we filled a big bottle and they stuck it in the car. They tried to pay us 30 Lira for it which was very silly after everything. We refused, and the dad kissed Adam on both cheeks and left.

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